Zou's gold, promise to family

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Gold medalist Zou Shiming of China holds his son during victory ceremony of men's boxing light fly (49kg) competition, at London 2012 Olympic Games in London, Britain, on August 11, 2012. [Xinhua/Wang Shen]

One gold for wife, one gold for son, the 31-year-old fighter kept his promise.

"I've promised them I would bring back home another Olympic gold, and today I fulfilled my promise," said London Olympic Champion Zou Shiming after winning the men's 49kg title on Saturday. It was his second Olympic gold medal, and the third medal.

"All I want to do at the moment is to stay with them. Nothing can part us any more," said Zou.

Zou jumped onto the international boxing stage with a silver medal at 2003 Boxing World Championships. He made his began to eye the Olympic gold in 2004 Athens Olympics, only to take back a bronze medal after losing the semifinal.

However, Zou became the first Chinese fighter ever to win a Olympic medal, making him a rising star both on local and international stage.

"I wasn't satisfied with the bronze, so I decided to try for another four years, and winning the gold is always my goal," said Zou.

Zou, well prepared and fully confident, made a great breakthrough on home court in 2008 Beijing Olympics. He claimed gold on men's 48kg category, making his dream come true.

Actually, Zou harvested more than a gold. The Olympics champion proposed to his girl friend with his gold medal, and she accept it.

Zou got married afterwards, and their child was born in summer 2011, one year away from the Olympics.

"I wasn't a responsible father, because I had to concentrate on the preparation for the Olympics," said Zou.

"He usually needed a long time to make sure this person was his dad."

Zou put the love of his son into his Olympic dream, and he decided to win his son a gold.

Known as the "King of fighters" in China, Zou also carried the burden of winning the first and only boxing for China at London Olympics. However, the goal wasn't an easy one, especially for a 31-year-old veteran who had dropped training for almost two years.

"I wasn't as agile as before. My ankle and foot were injured, and my old rivals started to pick up their attention on me," said Zou.

Zou was under pressure, both from expectation from the fans and the family. He fought hard to avoid mistakes, for one mistake, no matter how small it was, was possible to end his dream.

"I didn't accept any interview after the quarterfinal and semifinal, because there was so much pressure," said Zou.

"My coach was also nervous, so I had to release my pressure in the matches."

The reigning champion had no easy match in London. The opening match saw the strong challenge from Cuban young fighter Yosbany Veitia Soto, who was regarded as the strongest contender for Zou in London. The two staged a wonderful match for the audience, ending by Zou's 14-11 victory. "That was a tough match," said Zou. "My rival was strong."

After edging through the quarterfinal and the semifinal, Zou was one match away from his dream. He survived the breathtaking final 13-10 against Thai fighter Kaeo Pongprayoon, winning home the gold medal.

"I want a big big rest," said released Zou after the match. "It's great to win the gold at last."

Zou was reported to be planning to turn into a professional boxer after the London Games, but he gave no clear answer.

"Boxing will not become my topic in several months after the Games," said Zou.

"I hope the Olympics wasn't the end for me."

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